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Why New Move Mailing Lists Work: Part 2

By David Bancroft Avrick, president of Avrick Direct, Inc.

One of the major mailing list categories is Change-of-Address (CHADS) or "New Move" lists. There are currently over 900 New Move lists on the marketplace - and each one has a number of mailers using the list. In the United States, close to 25% of the households move every year. 

When we examine "why" New Move lists work - several things are obvious:

5. There is a need to affiliate. 
Life stress drives the need for affiliation. The new move demands that a person regain familiarity or symbolic attachment by ordering something associated with another person's interests or involvements, or even denying the other by ordering something contrary to the other person's tastes. The just divorced person specifically subscribes to a magazine his ex-spouse would object to - or purchases music that her ex-spouse disliked.

Another social and psychological variable is preference of the familiar. Someone might not have been interested in a specific mail-order offer before he moved. However, after the move, even if it's only a short distance, he is receptive. People prefer the familiar to the unfamiliar. If given an opportunity, people will surround themselves with "sameness." The catalog that was previously uninteresting, now represents familiarity.

An interesting psychological test is to show an individual a group of pictures. These pictures are then mixed with another group of unseen photographs. Ask the person to view the larger set of pictures and to identify the pictures he or she "likes." The individual will tend to pick the previously viewed pictures, even if viewed only for a few seconds. When people move, even a short distance, the things they can connect to their previous life are the things that are more familiar to them, and therefore more "liked" and valued.

Moving compels the individual to hold onto the familiar, even to the point of having control of what will be delivered to the new address, especially regularly and repetitively. Being able to determine what "arrives" enhances a sense of ownership and sense of place. When you receive mailings, magazines, catalogs and merchandise at your "new address" you establish a feeling of being connected once again.

6. There are other needs.
Obviously, motivations for moves may sometimes be associated with specific mailings. A woman getting married, and looking forward to entertaining guests, might become interested in subscribing to Gourmet Magazine. A person who just entered the job market, or who received a significant promotion, might decide to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal or Business Week.

Another factor is a sense of "newness." You have a new home and you want to surround yourself with "new stuff." Along with your new curtains and new carpeting you might want new magazines and new furnishings. Change begets change. You just changed your home, you're much more open to other changes. When direct mail solicitations come to you, you're willing to try a new product or a new supplier.

7. There Is A Clutter Factor.
As a direct marketer, there is another factor at work. Almost all direct mail is sent bulk rate, and is not forwarded. There is a short window, immediately after a new move, during which very little mail is being delivered to the consumer. When direct marketers send their mailings to new move addresses, they have the advantage of significantly less clutter. A less crowded mailbox means a higher probability of the mailing being read. When you couple this with the psychological factors, you get a consumer response of "Wow, someone knows where I am".

Several fundraising nonprofits send out name-and-address labels to new move names. Here they are fulfilling an important "need" for the consumer; everyone loves to see their name, with their new address, in print. The new mover is significantly more thankful for these labels than a person who has been at that address for years. And that thankfulness is expressed in donations.

8. What Does This All Mean?
There are both simplistic and deep-seated factors that drive the responsiveness of "new move" mailing lists. This has been discovered by hundreds of mailers, but many thousands have not yet uncovered this potential. There are millions of names available on a 30-day hotline basis. If you have not tested change of address/new move names you are possibly missing out on a great opportunity. If you have tested them, and they didn't work, it's probably a good idea to take another look at your test and your offer. Possibly you need to add some other criteria, such as bankcard holder, or gender selection, to make the lists work for you.

The bottom line is that New Move names are responsive.

Didn't see the first four reasons why New Movers lists work from our last Advisor? Click here.
---Source: David Bancroft Avrick, president of Avrick Direct, Inc ( With contributions from Ralph M. Daniel, Ph.D., Jerry P. Martin, M.D., and Lizbeth J. Martin, Ph.D.

Why New Move Mailing Lists Work: Part 1

By David Bancroft Avrick, president of Avrick Direct, Inc. 

One of the major mailing list categories is Change-of-Address (CHADS) or 
"New Move" lists. There are currently over 900 New Move lists on the marketplace - and each one has a number of mailers using the list. In the United States, close to 25% of the households move every year. 

When we examine "why" New Move lists work - several things are obvious:

A New Location Requires New Stuff.
When I move, I am faced with new needs. My curtains and rugs no longer fit. I may need a new bank loan or even a new pool service. I need a wide variety of goods and services for my new location.

I may have left my parents' home - and moved into the first place of my own. If that's the case, I need just about everything (there's even a good chance Mom and Dad have kept my bedroom furniture and converted my old bedroom into a guest room).

With 50% of Americans getting divorced, there are a plethora of people starting over. One partner usually gets to keep most of the "stuff" - the other has to start from scratch. Often the newly divided couple have to scale down economically - so the king size bed doesn't work for either person.

If I've received a job promotion and I'm moving "up" - I may no longer want my chain-store living room, dining room or bedroom furniture. While I'm trading in my Honda for a Lexus, I'm also trading in my stainless steel cutlery for silver plate.

If I moved because of a marriage or new child I will certainly want all kinds of "stuff" for my new household or for the child's nursery. And, with my new responsibilities I will probably also feel a need for insurance, and will probably want, and need, additional credit cards to handle my new expenses.

Long Distance Moves Translate To A New Persona.
When you relocate over a long distance you truly leave your old "life" behind. You leave your old friends and neighbors, your old hangouts, you leave your old lifestyle. Now that you're in a new house, or apartment, in a different part of the country - you want to surround yourself with new "stuff" that reflects your new self-image. You're no longer your parent's child, your spouse's partner, or the person who used to live on Main Street. You're a new person and you not only want new stuff - you want different stuff.

If, all of your life you've lived in New York surrounded by earth tones, now that you've relocated to Colorado you're throwing away your browns and ochre, and replacing them with greens and blues. If you just moved near the water you're a prospect for swimwear and beach totes. Move to Texas, and before you know it, you're strutting around in boots. If you move to a golfing area, your entire wardrobe changes.

You're a new you - and you want to surround yourself with things that remind you of that and reflect your new persona. This is a time of reevaluation of your personal preferences, and the exploration of new lifestyle options. The oak table is gone - glass and chrome are in. The wall-to-wall carpet is gone -polished hard wood with area rugs is in. The suits and ties are gone - khakis are in.

Long distance moves force you to look at yourself - and your "stuff." You look at that oak table and ask, "do I really want to move this table 1,300 miles." There's a good chance the answer is "no" - you're moving on to a new life.

The long distance move also translates to a new barber, grocery store, hairdresser, dentist, optician, bank - you name it. If it's a product or service you use - you need a new supplier.

Most People Who Profitably Mail New Move Lists Are NOT Selling New Stuff Or Selling Products Or Services That Help Reflect Your New Self-Image.
Most new moves are made within the same ZIP Code™. The people that are moving keep the same job at the same company, they continue to shop at the same stores, their kids attend the same schools, they belong to the same clubs, and they keep their same friends (although they do change neighbors).

So, why are these people responsive to direct mail offers? What makes these local New Move names "work?" In order to understand why, you must take one step backwards. It's NOT the fact that the person has just moved - it's the REASON BEHIND WHY THEY MOVED.

The best way to look at this is to examine who is profitably mailing 
New Move lists. The most significant user categories are magazines, music clubs and credit card or financial solicitations.

Between these three categories a BILLION New Move names are mailed annually. That's a lot of mail. That translates to over $400,000,000 in annual direct mail expense for lists, computerization, printing, mailing and postage. That's over a million dollars a day.

Why do New Move names respond?
The answer lies in the understanding of the reasons that precipitated the new-move in the subconscious psychological factors at work. The consumer, who receives and responds to the direct mail, is generally unaware of these factors.

The factors that create a new move are also the variables of life stress. These are the epochs of life. They include leaving home, graduation, co-habitation, marriage, divorce, having a child, empty nest, new job or promotion, loss of job, divorce, sickness or widowhood, newfound wealth or personal economic downturn, etc. These are the most stressful events of our lives.

Many of these changes symbolize increased autonomy and experimentation. Perhaps for the first time the individual can decide on his own, without the approval or influence of others. This is expressed in making decisions to subscribe to magazines of your liking, or signing up for a music club that offers your personal kind of music, or accepting a credit card solicitation for your own card. All of these actions are an expression of your freedom and independence, a confirmation of your right to make decisions for yourself, a fulfillment of your personal yearnings and desires.

These life changes often compel an individual to gain a semblance of control by deciding what to receive and what to reject.

Stay tuned for Part II--and the final four reasons why New Movers lists work--in next month's List Advisor.

---Source: David Bancroft Avrick, president of Avrick Direct, Inc ( With contributions from Ralph M. Daniel, Ph.D., Jerry P. Martin, M.D., and Lizbeth J. Martin, Ph.D.

Raise Funds Online With These Nine E-mail List-Building Tips

By Alan Sharpe, Certified Fund Raising Executive

The secret to raising funds online is not Facebook, Twitter, texting, or
even your website. It's email. To raise money on the Internet you
need the email addresses of folks who believe in your cause and want to see
you in their inbox. Here are nine principles to follow in acquiring those

1. Only add subscribers to your list who have given you permission to email

2. Attract new subscribers by offering them regular, valuable content.
Before anybody gives you their email address, they'll want to know what's in
it for them. Tell them: They'll get a weekly email newsletter; bulletins;
alerts; updates; or tips on how to manage their health. Offer valuable
content in exchange for their email address.

3. Offer a tangible incentive, such as discount coupons or free admission to
a special event.

4. Aim to get the email addresses of donors and non-donors, activists and
non-activists, members and non-members. Advocates; volunteers; anonymous
website visitors; and any other non-donors who sign up for your newsletters
are prime prospects for donations.

Don't just concentrate on getting the email addresses for your donors. Try
for anybody who could turn into an advocate, volunteer, or future donor. The
thing to remember is to just be patient. The nice thing about email is it
doesn't cost a lot of money to write to those people over time, and encourage
them to give a gift. So, start off by trying to get the address rather than
the donation.

5. Ask for as little information as possible to get their email address. You
could simply ask for their email address alone--but, most of us would be
horrified to do that. We'd at least like to know the name of the person. But,
when you start asking for their name, address, phone number, date-of-birth,
and social security number, you're asking for trouble. Ask for as little as
possible in order to get their address.

6. Make sure every single message you send to your list is helpful and
relevant. Quality, relevant content is the easiest way to keep your
subscribers subscribed, and encourage them to refer you to others.

7. Don't rent or borrow email addresses from anyone except the most
reputable organizations and list companies in the industry. And, even then,
exercise great caution because you don't want to be branded as a spammer.
It'll put you on the blacklist for a long time, and once you're on, it's hard
to get off. If you're on a blacklist, obviously, you can't do any email

8. When you ask for someone's email address, describe what you'll send them
and how often you'll send it. You could even say, "You'll be hearing from us
every Friday," or "You'll get our Monday morning bulletin." Let them know
either how often, or when they'll be hearing from you, so they're not

9. Give your subscribers an easy way to opt out. Make it really simple for
them to tell you they don't want to hear from you anymore. There's no point
building a huge list of subscribers if they simply delete your messages or
flag them as spam. I subscribe to a newsletter right here in Canada sent by
one of Canada's largest fundraising newsletter publishers, and there's no way
to unsubscribe from it. I have to phone them or visit their website. Nowhere
in the emails does it tell you how you can stop hearing from these people.
You don't want to be in that position. People will think you're trying to
make it hard for them to unsubscribe and you'll spread ill will that way.

---Source: Excerpted from Online Fundraising Secrets by Alan Sharpe. Alan Sharpe, CFRE, is a fundraising practitioner, author, trainer, and speaker. Sign up for "Alan Sharpe's Fundraising Pointers," at C 2009 Alan Sharpe.

11 Powerful Emotions to Energize Your Fundraising Letters

By Dean Rieck, direct mail copywriter

To some extent, all marketing is based on emotion. Whether you're buying a car, a mutual fund, or a can of cheese spread, emotions play a part in the decision-making process.

However, nothing relies on emotion quite so much as fundraising letters. How people "feel" about your cause will determine how they respond to your appeals.

While we humans are capable of an infinite variety of emotions, there are a few basic ones that work well in fundraising appeal letters. Here are 11 of them:

1. Altruism -- Whether people are truly altruistic or have self-serving motives for giving is often debated. The best approach is to assume altruistic motives and appeal to other motives subtly. Assume the best of people and you usually get it.

2. Anger -- Some highly emotional issues can cause feelings of outrage. This is a powerful motivator, but a tricky one. If you decide to be angry in your letter, maintain your anger throughout. Don't drop out of character and slip into fuzzy language on page 2. Your appeal should be along the lines of "This is outrageous and we have to stop it!"

3. Beliefs -- Whether religious, political, or social, strongly held beliefs drive the actions of many people. Find out what your prospects and regular donors believe in and make sure your message aligns with those beliefs.

4. Compassion -- You can generate sympathy by painting a word picture of someone who needs help. Share details about that person's life and ordeals. But, be careful. If the problem is distasteful and you present it too graphically, you might make your reader turn away. There's a fine line between sympathy and revulsion.

5. Ego-gratification -- Gratifying one's ego is not the same as being egotistic. It's a sense of well being, a feeling that inner perceptions and outer realities are in sync. Since most people like to think highly of themselves, it's best that you speak to them in an appropriately flattering tone. People want to live up to the perceptions of others.

6. Fear -- Fear usually takes the form of self-preservation; donating to cancer research to save your own life in the years ahead, for example. This is a powerful motivator. It's dangerous, though, because you can easily offend by suggesting self-serving motives.

7. Guilt -- Discomfort and guilt are your emotional allies in any appeal. To spark your prospect's desire to give, you must create a certain level of discomfort about the problem you are presenting. Plus, the thought of not helping should create guilt within your reader. You can also cause guilt by giving something, like address labels or cards. It's hard to use these items without reciprocating with a few dollars.

8. Idealism -- If you have a cause with a big idea, you can frame your message around the "I want to change the world" appeal. Of course, many causes can be positioned as world-changing. The trick is to keep it believable. Even the most idealistic donors are practical with their checkbooks.

9. Immortality -- As children, we feel we're going to live forever. As adults, we know we won't, but we feel an overwhelming urge to try. Engraved plaques in a concert hall; published names in a newspaper; additions to hospitals; and other such tangible records of accomplishment, are all symbols that allow a certain kind of immortality.

10. Joy -- It's too easy to focus on the more negative and selfish motivations for giving. However; for many people, giving creates a powerful sense of joy -- the joy of sharing, of belonging, of being needed. Find the "Joy Factor" in your cause, and test an appeal based on it. Many times, you'll find it wins.

11. Recognition -- Everyone needs a pat on the back now and then. A simple "thank you" is good enough for some. For others, a certificate or some form of public notice is more appropriate. Some people give solely to be congratulated. So, congratulate them.

Find the right emotion for your fundraising letters and you will find generous supporters for your cause. What emotion is at the heart of your organization? 

---Source: Dean Rieck has been called the best direct response strategist and copywriter in America. For more copywriting and selling ideas, sign up for Dean's FREE direct response newsletter or visit Pro Copy Tips to get copywriting tips for smart copywriters. 

Fundraising in Tough Economic Times

By Alan Rosenspan, Alan Rosenspan & Associates

Many nonprofits are cutting back their marketing these days because of the ever-rising price of gasoline, food and other basics. They figure that people just don't have as much disposable income as before, which may be true.

However, I think they are making a mistake. Back in the 1980's - Sam Walton was asked what Wal-Mart would do in the recession.

His answer was classic - "We don't plan to participate."

Fundraising in this environment does present its challenges, however there are some very good reasons to continue your program, or even enlarge it. These include:

1. You'll have less competition. As a frequent donor, I have sometimes received a dozen appeals from different causes in a single day. I can't respond to all of them, so I have to pick and choose. 

However, if other nonprofits are cutting back, I and other donors will receive less direct mail from them. What a terrific opportunity for your direct mail to stand out.

2. The need is greater - and more people may identify with it.
The typical donor isn't wealthy. They understand the value of a dollar, and they appreciate that life can be difficult at times.

The fact that your donors may be going through hard times may help underscore the point others have it much worse. It may create added empathy and actually increase donations. 

So if you do decide to promote your nonprofit, there are a few techniques you might want to consider.

A. Increase your use of e-mail and the Web. This is an area that has been growing strongly in the past few years, and will continue to grow.

If you've never tested this channel, this is a perfect time to do so. If you already use it, you may want to devote more of your budget towards it.

B. Emphasize matching donations, impossible. This is always one of the strongest appeals in fundraising, and may be even more powerful in down economic times.

The fact that every dollar you give will be matched by another dollar - in effect, doubling its value - is very compelling. 

C. Ask for lower amounts of money. Or at least, give people a lower option to choose. Yes, this may affect the overall ROI of your campaign, but it also may attract more new donors. It also keeps your existing donors in the habit of giving. 

As a wise person once said, "Tough times never last, tough people do." As a nonprofit, you're doing important work that's helping people - so don't get discouraged, get busy.

--Source: Alan Rosenspan, president of Alan Rosenspan and Associates. Email him at

The Only 4 Numbers You Need for Direct Mail Fundraising

By Alan Sharpe, copywriter and president of Raiser Sharpe

A while back I realized that measuring the effectiveness of direct mail fundraising campaigns is a lot easier than I'd thought. 

I was confused by all the formulas and ratios, and was never sure which numbers were more important than the others. Cost Per Piece, Cost to Raise a Dollar, Return On Investment, Average Gift, all of these and at least six other metrics kept me in a state of anxious ignorance. I was never sure where I needed to start my calculations.

Now I know, and I thought I'd pass on to you what I discovered in what I suppose I could call an epiphany.

I discovered that, to track the effectiveness of any direct mail campaign, all you need to start with are four numbers. Once you know what these four numbers are, you can perform every calculation you need to measure your costs, revenue and return.

These four numbers are the only ones you need to measure on every campaign. They're the only four numbers you need to obtain when comparing recent campaigns with those from long ago.

The numbers are simply these:

1. Number of letters you mail.
2. Number of gifts you receive.
3. Amount of money you spend to mail the letters.
4. Amount of money you receive as gifts.

These numbers are known in the trade by various terms. I refer to them as:

1. Pieces Mailed
2. Total Gifts
3. Total Cost
4. Gross Income

I recall these four numbers by remembering that two deal with mail and two deal with money. The first two numbers deal with what you mail and with what comes back in the mail. And the second two numbers deal with what you spend and with what you earn.

Only when you know these four simple numbers can you run the calculations you need to make sense of your direct mail fundraising results. Need to know your cost to raise a dollar? Divide your mailing cost (number 3 above) by your income (number 4 above). Need to know your average gift? Divide your income (number 4 above) by the number of gifts received (number 2 above).

---Source: Alan Sharpe, copywriter, author and workshop leader, is president of Raiser Sharpe

Fundraisers--Are You Prepared to Accept Online Donations?

Good news on the fundraising forefront - donations are up. Interesting development though, considering donors are said to be "fatigued." Not only that, but it looks like more donations are received via Internet, rather than through direct mail. 

That's right. It looks like more donations are filtering in via the Internet, rather than its normally traditional method - via direct mail. According to a report by Target Analysis Group, more donors selected this medium, as postal delivery becomes more "expensive or problematic," the report states. 

The report also states fundraising among all nonprofit sectors took a hike. Donor revenue increased 7.9 percent through the first three quarters of 2005. Even the number of donors was up 2.5 percent, while the number of new donors grew by 4.7 percent, the report reveals. 

About 27 million donors showed their philanthropic side, giving more than 43 million gifts totaling $1.2 billion. The sector that got the most bite? The report states that animal welfare organizations saw a median revenue increase of 47.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2005. This is the only sector that received substantial amounts of Gulf Coast hurricane-related giving. 

Still, fundraisers fear that increased donations for the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina efforts might affect donations to other traditional relief organizations or charities - a situation known as "donor fatigue." Donations to international relief efforts after the Asian tsunami skyrocketed with a 100 percent increase during that time. But the report suggests that these worries aren't warranted, since results for donations to all sectors were strong and stable.